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Lot 0594
(19) BEN HUR SCREEN-USED MINIATURE SHIPS - (MGM, 1925/1959) A spectacular collection of (19) screen-used miniature ships from the sea battle scenes in both MGM versions of Ben-Hur. This is a fleet of various Roman and Macedonian vessels originally constructed for the 1925 Fred Niblo version at great studio expense, repurposed for the 1959 remake. The ships are highly visible on the ocean’s horizon leading up to the big sea battle and in the spectacular battle itself. “Judah Ben-Hur” (Charlton Heston) is a slave rower on a Roman ship when his fleet encounters Macedonian pirates. A violent confrontation ensues in which ships engage in all out battle. The events of this battle help further shape Ben-Hur’s destiny. The ships range in size from 5 feet to 9 feet long and are in various conditions due to age and rigorous production use. At over 85 years old, these beautifully detailed models are impressive even in their current state of disrepair. Master model makers have fashioned these vessels from a variety of materials including copper, aluminum, steel and wood. Each of the ships on offer features a unique figurehead above the ship’s ramming beak. The copper hulls have oxidized over the years and the masts have collapsed but some components are still present. Many of the wooden decks are no longer present, though the larger ships still retain auto- mated mechanisms installed to operate ship’s oars. There are examples of original pieces, masts, oars and remnants of wire riggings, which could aid in restoration. There are even some miniature sailor figures still present aboard some of the ships. Remnants of paint and ornaments remain as well. Here is an incredible opportunity to acquire a virtual fleet of Hollywood’s finest miniature craft from one of history’s most enduring stories and film- making’s most epic achievements. Special shipping arrangements will apply.

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Estimate $25,000 - $60,000Jul 31, 2012